Summer officially begins this week! Celebrate the start of the season with a solstice festival, Pride events, special tours of New York City and unique performances. Here are our Untapped Picks of things to do this week!

Friday, June 21st

Catch a Picnic Performance at Bryant Park. Picnic Performances are free summer programs that bring Contemporary Dance, Shakespeare, New York City Opera, Carnegie Hall Citywide concerts, and more high quality entertainment to the public in the park for free. Tonight there will be a contemporary dance performance curated by Tiffany Rea-Fisher featuring Buglisi Dance Theatre, VON HOWARD PROJECT, Beatrice Capote, and LaGuardia Dance Ensemble. No tickets are necessary and picnic blankets will be provided to the first 250 people. Beer, wine and food are available for purchase.

Celebrate the summer solstice at Socrates Sculpture Park. This festival in honor of the changing seasons and the longest day of the year will feature face-painting, tarot readings, lantern-making , spaceship sculpture building, light-up inflatables, solar observing, and telescope tours of the sky. The festival starts at 6:00PM and runs into the night with live musical performances, an annual sunset Solstice ritual, circle singing, and story sharing. This event is free and open to the public!

Saturday, June 22nd

Visit the historic cottages of Snug Harbor for a special performance. In s o u n d i n g line by Brooklyn-based artist Adrienne Westwood, four performers create, inhabit, and transform individual and collective pasts to ask what it means to belong as a woman to a family line. Using movement and shadow play, and manipulating simple elements — cloth, rope, paper, and light — the performance pulls the imagined histories of female ancestors into the present.

See all twenty-six site-specific art pieces installed throughout the abandoned Ellis Island hospital complex by world renowned artist JR on a special Unframed behind-the-scenes hard hat tour. This tour will take guests to places of the abandoned complex not visited on any other experience. In addition to hunting down every single one of the ghostly images pasted up on the walls, doors, windows, floors and furniture, guests will also go home with a framable poster.

“Unframed Ellis Island” by JR, a guided tour of the exhibition inside Ellis Island’s Abandoned Hospital

Uncover the secrets of Grand Central Terminal on Untapped Cities’ expert guided walking tour. This tour will change your morning commute as you discover all of the treasures of the historic terminal hidden in plain sight. From private tennis courts and a giant Tiffany clock to architectural quirks and secret walkways, learn something you never knew before!

Tour of the Secrets of Grand Central Terminal

Sunday, June 23rd

Explore the abandoned Ellis Island hospital complex on a special behind-the-scenes hard hat tour. Gain access to areas that have been closed off to the public for over sixty years including the former morgue, laundry facilities, and contagious disease wards.

Behind-the-Scenes Hard Hat Tour of the Abandoned Ellis Island Hospital

Monday, June 24th

Attend a musical performance inside the catacombs of Green-Wood Cemetery as part of The Angel’s Share opera and chamber music concert series. On Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday Augusta McKay Lodge and her band Voyage Sonique will put on a show, Epilogues and Epitaphs, featuring a unique take on baroque chamber music. Each evening begins with a pre-concert reception at sunset overlooking New York Harbor and the Manhattan skyline.

Go inside the most stunning theaters and movie palaces of New York City at TheatreConThis week-long series of tours will hop around the five boroughs, as well as parts of New Jersey and Connecticut, hitting iconic locations like Radio City Music Hall, the Loews Wonder theaters, and the abandoned Palace and Majestic Theaters. Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased a-la-carte or as a package. If you are an Untapped Cities Insiders, you can save $100 on package tickets! Learn how here!

Tuesday, June 25th

Enjoy a Night at the Museums as you visit the museum and historic sites of Lower Manhattan for free! From 4:00PM until 8:00PM, institutions like Fraunces Tavern, National September 11 Memorial Museum, Museum of American Finance, The Skyscraper Museum and others will open their doors to visitors with complimentary admission and special programming. See all of the participating sites and plan your night here!

As Pride Month ramps up for a big finale, learn more about the icons of the LGBTQIA+ community who have changed the game in the entertainment industry at NYC Pride’s GameChangers. Presented in partnership with GLAAD and SVA Theatre, there will be a curate Q&A featuring and panel discussion with actor George Takei, actress Trace Lysette, and model Leyna Bloom. A networking reception will follow.

Photo courtesy NYPL

Help support the efforts of Village Preservation while attending the preservation society’s annual Jefferson Market Garden Party. Though the library itself is closed for renovation, the festivities will continue outside in the garden. There will be live music, refreshments, wine, and tours around the block conducted by the library’s historian Jack Intrator. Proceeds from ticket sales benefit the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation’s ongoing neighborhood preservation efforts.

From glitter to grit, explore Brooklyn’s LGBTQ+ nightlife at the Brooklyn Historical Society’s The Tea on Brooklyn’s Prismatic LGBTQ Nightlife. The event will include a screening of We Came to Sweat, a documentary on the storied Starlite Lounge that served as a black queer hub in Crown Heights, followed by a panel moderated by Shawn(ta) Smith-Cruz, archivist at the Lesbian Herstory Archives and Assistant Professor and Head of Reference at the Graduate Center Library, CUNY, featuring Calvin Clark of the former Club Langston, activist, cultural organizer, and DJ Thanushka Yakupitiyage, Mohammed Fayaz of the queer POC dance party collective Papi Juice, and Ryann Holmes of the collective Bklyn Boihood.

Thursday, June 27th

Join a discussion with Matthew “Levee” Chavez, the creator of Subway Therapy inside 14th Street–Union Square station, at the New York Transit Museum. Chavez will talk about his process and what he has learned by engaging with thousands of people around the world through a project that began in the New York City subway system. Through the use of sticky notes, Chavez’s subway therapy project blossomed and encouraged New York’s commuters to share their thoughts freely, regardless of politics, creating dialogue and connection in one of the places familiar to all city dwellers: the subway. Untapped Cities readers can get $10 off tickets by using the code UNTAPPEDSUBWAY. Tickets include 1 free beer from Coney Island Brewery!

See nine panels from The AIDS Memorial Quilt on display at Brookfield Place for a limited number of days. Today until July 1st, the panels will be on display thanks to the WorldPride I Stonewall 50 AIDS Memorial Quilt Display Initiative. The display will be accompanied by a special Happy Hour on the Waterfront Terrace and a colorful art installation, Thrive.

Discover how bicycles are changing New York City at the Museum of the City of New York’s discussion, Whose Streets? Reclaiming NYC for Cyclists. Join cyclist advocates and public officials and urban planners as they discuss how the growing number of cyclists are changing the city’s streets. There will be complimentary valet bike parking for a limited number of attendees!

Tour the former  Greenwich Village studio and home of sculptor Chaim Gross on a private tour with Untapped Cities Insiders. On this tour, guests will see the spaces in which Gross lived and worked, left largely untouched since his passing. The home and studio are filled with Gross’ own work as well as hundreds of pieces of his private art collection consisting of works from all over the world. Not an Insider yet? Become a member today to gain access to free behind-the-scenes tours like this, and special events all year long! Already a member? Book here!

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